An 1855 Grand Cru Classé, Château Branaire-Ducru is one of the great names in the Saint-Julien appellation. Owned by the Maroteaux family, Château Branaire-Ducru offers, vintage after vintage, a superb expression of this great terroir, situated on the left bank of Bordeaux. The estate produces wines that are renowned for their elegance, their velvety texture on the palate and their consistency.
A benchmark among the finest Saint-Julien wines, Château Branaire-Ducru watches over a 59-hectare vineyard. The vines are 35 years old on average and are planted on gravelly hilltops (gravel and pebbles).
The climatic conditions throughout the 2016 vintage led to the production of a high-quality wine. The cool, wet spring enabled the vines to achieve an outstanding balance. The dry and sunny weather at the beginning of June triggered a beautiful flowering period. The dry summer season led to significant water stress and gave the grapes a rich colour and tannins. The three days of rain from the 13th to the 16th of September enabled the grapes to reach an optimal ripeness level before the harvest. The weather conditions during the harvest from September 28th to October 19th were ideal.
Vinification and ageing
The wine is aged in barrels for an average of 16 to 20 months, with a proportion of 60 to 65% new wood.
Cabernet Sauvignon (64%)
Petit Verdot (6%)
Cabernet Franc (3%).
This wine showcases a beautiful deep colour.
Complex and expressive, the nose exudes ripe fruit fragrances and is rich, precise and fresh.
The attack is rich. The tannic structure combines a great finesse with a bold density. The finish is long and precise. An exceptionally dense and fine wine which is among one of the finest vintages in the history of the estate.
The 2016 Branaire-Ducru is a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc picked from 28 September until 19 October at 50 hectoliters per hectare, one of the longest harvest periods at the estate. The nose is quite intense with black fruit infused with pencil shaving and a touch of tobacco, unashamedly classic in style, a little distant compared to some other Saint Juliens but undeniably well defined and full of character. The palate is structured and masculine, exerting a firm grip in the mouth, spicier than its peers with cracked black pepper complementing the black fruit, tobacco and smoke towards the structured finish. There is great length here, very persistent in the mouth, a little rougher in texture than others, but that will be smoothed out during élevage and in bottle. Give this Branaire-Ducru five or six years in bottle because it has great potential, one of the best produced at the estate in recent years. (NB This sample was taken from a new barrel, though the final blend will be 60%.)